Work is underway in Albany on the 2009 – 2010 state budget, but we are already off to a rocky start. That is not to say that we can’t right the ship, but it is a job that will take a bit of work from all sides.
The biggest problem is that we are beginning the process from a flawed starting point. The governor’s budget proposal that we are using as a jumping off point increases spending by 1 percent, and raises approximately 137 taxes and fees by more than $4 billion, all in an attempt to close a two year deficit approaching $15 billion.
ALBANY, 01/27/09 – State Senator James L. Seward (R-I-C/Oneonta) today joined other members of the Senate Republican Conference to discuss the federal stimulus package and the state budget. Following the media conference Senator Seward issued the following statement.
“The federal stimulus package can be an enormous shot in the arm for all New Yorkers and our budget, but only if we use the money wisely.
ONEONTA, 01/23/09 – State Senators James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) and George Winner (R/C/I-Elmira) are calling on the SUNY Charter School Institute to delay action on the application of an Ithaca-based charter school.
In a letter to the SUNY Charter School Institute, Seward and Winner requested officials “place a hold on the application of New Roots Charter School until several important questions that have been raised by the public are fully addressed.”
So, here we are a month into the new year. How is that New Year’s Resolution coming along?
For many individuals a top priority is losing weight. Not a bad idea when put in the proper context. Unfortunately so many people concentrate only on the numbers on the scale. Health experts agree though that in order to achieve a healthy level of fitness you need to focus on a more well rounded lifestyle.
Our region is filled with great pieces of history; many are well known while others have yet to receive their due. Now is the time to change that.I am issuing a call for nominations for the 2009 Erie Canal Heritage Award of Excellence. The award honors and celebrates the significant places of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and recognizes excellence in advancing the goals of the Erie Canalway Preservation and Management Plan.
ONEONTA, 01/14/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) is calling for the continuation of the Otsego-Northern Catskill Board of Cooperative Educational Services (ONC BOCES) in its current configuration. Seward’s support comes as the New York State Education Department reviews the future of ONC BOCES. Senator Seward, in a letter to New York State Education Commissioner Richard Mills stated “ONC BOCES fulfills a critical need as is and should not be subject to the tinkering of the state’s bureaucracy.” Seward said testimony from area educators, parents, resident, and even a review by the Rockefeller Institute of Government all back his claim.
Much like a sports franchise after a down year, the state needs to rebuild. While there is some heavy lifting ahead, job creation and tax relief, combined with commonsense cuts can help spur our economy.
The governor has presented his budget, and his state of the state address, now it is time to take those unfinished pieces of the puzzle and create a completed solution that will return New York to greatness.
In media conferences across his district kicking off the 2009 session of the New York State Senate, Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C – Oneonta) outlined his agenda of job creation, new state efficiencies and property tax relief he dubbed “Return To Greatness.”
ALBANY, 01/07/09 -- Senator James L. Seward today commented on Gov. Paterson’s State of the State address:
“While Governor Paterson hit on some key points today, his overall message still falls short of what is needed in New York State. Job creation and tax relief must be the headlines of this redemption story.
Now that we are firmly entrenched in winter, it’s time for many people to head outdoors and embrace the season. Despite the cold temperatures, many individuals who live in upstate New York look forward to the snow and cold conditions for so many reasons.
ONEONTA, 12/29/08 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta), in response to the latest development concerning the proposed New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) power line, is reaffirming his stance against the line, and calling on the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to hold additional public hearings.
ALBANY, 12/16/08 -- Senator James L. Seward commented on the governor's proposed 2008-2009 state budget, unveiled in Albany today.
“My initial reaction to the governor’s budget presentation is that it is woefully inadequate for the tough times that lie ahead. The proposal has everything except what New Yorkers need… property tax relief and new jobs.
ONEONTA, 12/15/08 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C – Oneonta) today announced that four local schools have received mini-grants from the Rural Education Advisory Committee.
“Assisting schools with funding of this nature enhances programs for students and does so without raising local taxes,” said Senator Seward. “This is a win-win situation, especially in these trying economic times when schools are struggling with the bottom line.”
ONEONTA, 12/11 /08-- Following the Senate Education Committee public hearing on a flexible school week, December 10, Senator James L. Seward issued the following statement:
“As we work through these tough fiscal times it’s essential that we consider new and innovative cost saving measures to combat the high cost of education and high property taxes. Mandate relief and other ideas are being explored and a flexible four day school week with longer school days could also be an option for some school districts.
ONEONTA, 12/2/08 -- Local justice courts are in line for state grants to help purchase equipment and fund other court expenses, State Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C-Oneonta) said today. The funds come from the state's Justice Court Assistance Program, created by the legislature in 1999 and funded in the 2008-09 state budget.
ONEONTA, 12/02/2008 -- State Senator James Seward spoke out tonight on the need for proper safeguards of the natural gas drilling industry.
Senator Seward was the lead witness at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) hearing on the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS). The GEIS addresses new issues and potential environmental impacts of natural gas exploration and drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation.